In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and ICSI

The IVF process involves bringing eggs and sperm together in a dish in our lab and developing embryos in our incubation system. ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is similar but instead the sperm doesn’t have to penetrate the egg in the dish, our scientists carefully inject a single sperm directly into the egg.

Selecting the right clinic for IVF or ICSI treatment is vital. To begin, you want to be sure that you actually require IVF or ICSI and that it addresses your specific fertility issue. Getting the right diagnosis is crucial so starting with a clinic that offers a range of treatments means IVF may not be part of your journey.

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Fertility Specialist, Dr Mark Livingstone discusses the IVF process

Any procedure where fertilisation takes place outside the body is a form of IVF.

Every month, follicles begin to develop in a woman’s ovaries. Around 1 to 30 follicles will grow each menstrual cycle – depending on a woman’s age and ovarian reserve. But just one follicle will dominate and release a mature egg.

During an IVF cycle, injections of a hormone known as FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) are used to encourage more of the follicles to develop mature eggs – which are then collected under vaginal ultrasound guidance – sometimes called oocyte (egg) pick up (OPU) or retrieval.

The eggs are then fertilised by sperm in the lab. The developing embryos are monitored for several days, before one is transferred to the uterus. If there are additional embryos, they can be frozen and stored for later use.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

ICSI is a specialised form of IVF, commonly recommended by a Fertility Specialist if sperm numbers are low or sperm motility is poor. During ICSI our highly trained and skilled scientists use sperm microinjection to inject a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of the egg. The sperm is selected mainly on the basis of its normal shape and size.

Once the eggs have been successfully fertilised, the resulting embryos are left to develop in the lab over the next five to six days and transferred or frozen, just as they are for a “routine” IVF cycle.

Should IVF or ICSI be required, you want to ensure that the care, technology and success are world leading to maximise your chance of a family, in the least number of cycles possible.

At Genea Oxford Fertility, our care ensures a personalised treatment plan to address your fertility issue. You are surrounded by a supportive team of counsellors, nurses and scientists. Every cycle starts with a Fertility Specialist who will go on to conduct all procedures and oversee all treatment*. Our care ensures you are stimulated at the correct time in your cycle, egg pick up is at the most appropriate time for egg quality and the medications and dosage we prescribe is tailored for you.

Technology is key when it comes to IVF, we have long pioneered fertility treatment and continue to today. 

* If your Fertility Specialist is on leave or unable to attend to your procedure, he or she will arrange for another Genea Oxford Specialist to cover. Please always check with your Specialist for times of known planned leave, before you start your cycle.
S1 E8: The Process - When Nature Needs a Helping Hand

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re over 35 and have been trying for 6 months or under 35 and been trying for 12 months with no success, call a Genea Oxford Fertility Specialist. It doesn’t mean you need IVF but should do some simple investigations.

In Australia and New Zealand, less than 10% of IVF pregnancies involve women having a multiple birth - a situation which can carry significant health risks for mother and baby. The trend toward single embryo transfer (SET) in Australia was established by Genea more than a decade ago and today only 5% of patients who have a baby at Genea have a multiple birth. Our policy of “one at a time” is because, once the risks of multiple birth are factored in, the chance to have a healthy baby is higher by transferring one embryo at a time.

ICSI is most commonly recommended by a Fertility Specialist if sperm numbers are low or sperm motility is poor. Otherwise, it is likely IVF will be prescribed.